Sometimes, we get caught up trying to overhaul our life, and this trying to do everything at once gets super overwhelming. It’s ok to bring it back to the basics! Here are 17 simple things that you can do that will make you feel a whole lot better… especially if you don’t attempt to do them all at once!
1. HAVE A DRINK OF WATER.
I know this oft-repeated tip sounds boring as hell, but the reality is that most of us don’t actually drink enough water. Now, I’m not telling you to be obsessive about it, and drown gallons upon gallons daily. Just get up right now (well, ok, as soon as you’ve finished reading this article), pour yourself a normal glass of water, and enjoy. You’ll thank me.
2. SAY THANK YOU
If you’ve read my stuff for any length of time, you know that I’m really into gratitude as a life practice. If you’re into gratitude journaling and all that, it’s fantastic, but it doesn’t even need to be that complicated. Just take a moment to thank someone wholeheartedly, be it in words, by email or via text. Not only will it brighten their day, but yours too!
3. DO A QUICK MOVEMENT FLOW
Not all movement needs to be very regimented all the time. Spending five minutes on a simple flow can help you feel better and more present in your body, while giving it the movement it craves. You don’t need to have a preset plan, but if you’re looking for inspiration, this fun flow of mine can give you some inspiration.
4. TAKE A DEEP BREATH
Countless studies have proven how breathing patterns can improve our mood. Taking just a few minutes a day to focus on deep breathing (think expanding the whole circumference of your belly and ribs, not just breathing into your upper chest) will help relax our nervous system, which will in turn promote better recovery from all of life’s stresses.
5. HAVE AN IMPROMPTU DANCE PARTY
You know that one song? The one that just makes you want to move irresistibly? Well put it on (close your door if you absolutely must), crank up the volume and let loose!
Being serious all the time isn’t good for you, I promise!
Obviously, I’m not telling you to smile if you’re in a bad mood! But I find that we often repress ourselves from expressing our good moods too. If your heart’s at peace, take a second to smile to someone, even if that someone is just yourself. It’s one of the simplest, kindest ways to put some light in our days!
8. EAT MORE PROTEIN
Protein keeps you satisfied longer, and is a great contributor to both muscle and bone growth. Sadly, some of us forgo protein in many of the meals and snacks we eat, leading to rollercoaster blood sugar levels, and corresponding energy disruptions. Aim for protein at every meal and every snack.
9. GIVE AN EXTRA-LONG HUG
Hugging someone for 20 seconds (or the length of three deep breaths) promotes the release of the neurotransmitter oxytocin in the brain, which in turn helps the development of deeper connection. So grab your favourite person and get hugging. It’s pretty magical, I promise!
10. UNSUBSCRIBE AND UNFOLLOW
If we’re honest with ourselves, a lot of the contents of our inbox and social media feeds amount to clutter, and too much clutter leads to overwhelm. Take a few minutes to unsubscribe from the emails that don’t interest you deeply (if you’re not smiling when you see it in your inbox, that’s a pretty good sign) and all of the accounts that make you feel anywhere from simply meh to somewhat bad about yourself. Kthxbye.
11. FOCUS ON STRENGTH TRAINING
You’re not surprised that I put this in there, are you? While I won’t go into depth, remember that strength training helps prevent bone loss and muscle loss as we age, and promotes better posture and better metabolism. If that’s not a reason to feel better, I don’t know what is!
12. CHOOSE LOVE OVER FEAR
Since early 2015, my personal motto has been “Think and act from a place of love, not from a place of fear.” Choosing love over fear is a courageous act, but one which allows us to remain true to our soul. It doesn’t mean that the fear goes away, but we can consciously choose not to let it rule our life. In the now eternal words of the late Carrie Fisher: “Stay afraid, but do it anyway.”
13. CELEBRATE YOUR WINS
I find that, especially as women, we tend to systematically downplay our achievements instead of celebrating the heck out of them. No one wins when we minimize what we’ve accomplished through hard work, and we’re simply perpetuating the culture of never enough. Instead, do take a moment to give yourself a hearty pat on the back. Better yet: take a minute to write down what you’ve achieved and why you’re proud of yourself for doing so, and revisit that list from time to time.
14. ASSUME THE BEST
It’s easy to go through life thinking that the world is out to get you. It’s a little lazy, even. Not only does this type of negative thinking breed cynicism, but it keep us systematically stuck. When we choose to systematically assume the best and give the benefit of the doubt in every situation, we leave room for so much freedom. This is why I absolutely love this quip from Rudyard Kipling: “I always prefer to believe the best of everybody; it saves so much trouble.”
15. MOVE EVERY DAY
This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Just move. Yes, it can be a structured exercise session, but it can also be as simple as taking a short walk. I’m a huge fan of short walks actually: the more you can integrate into your day-to-day life, the better you’ll fare, I promise!
16. F*** PERFECTION
This one’s a huge one! While we may believe that perfectionism is a powerful motivator, it typically keeps us feeling unworthy and is a real breeding ground for shame. Cultivating the art of good enough is incredibly liberating and will help us keep moving instead of remaining paralyzed.
17. EAT MORE GREENS
With loads of variety—both in terms of the vegetables themselves and the different ways of preparing them—and a very high fibre and micronutrient content, greens are a fantastic part of your “feel good” arsenal. Start by adding at least one portion a couple of times a week, and go from there. You’ll thank me.
18. (BONUS!) JOIN MY SPECIAL CREW
Ha! Got you there! But seriously, my friend Julie has said “Once you’ve read Fabi’s work, you’ll wonder how she knows what’s going on in *your* head!”
And my guess is that it’s probably because we’re somewhat alike, you and I, in some of our questionings. If you’re not yet part of my Special Crew, I’d love for you to be. This is where I share some of my best stuff, get a little vulnerable, and give you loads of insiders-only goodies. Add yourself here to get in!